Effects of social media on a child's mental health

FARGO, N.D. - (Valley News Live) People spend hours of their day on social media.

"Once you start looking at it you just can't stop," said Jessie Keller of Bismarck. "Then it goes on to another thing to see what this person's been doing. It's too time-consuming."

It's a place to share life's best experiences. However, with such a powerful tool at your fingertips, responsibility is important.

"When social media is not used appropriately there is research to show that it can increase anxiety, depression, attention and concentration problems," said Dr. Ranae Reinardy, a licensed psychologist.

Children who begin to be effected negatively can show signs like loneliness, complaining about their lives, and depression.

"That's when it's important to talk to our kids about when often times is portrayed on social media, or any media for that matter, that it isn't always a reflection of reality," said Dr. Reinardy.

Psychologists say this is where trusted adults have to step in and have open communication.

"To be able to have open discussions about that is really important and to help people connect to real experiences, to talk to our children, to have our children be involved with our peers face to face."

Dr. Reinardy reminds parents to be role models for their children.

"It is really important to be a good consumer of social media," said Dr. Reinardy. "Looking at what our children are looking at and putting time limits to that. To not lose out on the face-to-face interaction because that's where were we really get social connection and decrease our feelings of loneliness."

When deciding on appropriate guidelines for your child's social media use, Dr. Reinardy suggests consulting your child's pediatrician.